Musings on color management, CHROMiX products and services and other relevant topics.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can speakers ruin a monitor?

If you have speakers sitting on your desktop, next to your computer screen, can they damage your monitor or affect its color?

The thought is that audio speakers have magnets in them, and these magnets if they are too big or unshielded can have an immediate effect on the color of a monitor that uses magnetic fields. Colors and shapes will be bent into strange patterns near the location of the magnet. Sounds scary, doesn't it?!

While there is a measure of truth to this rumor, here are a few points to keep in mind:
  • This problem only effects CRT displays, not the modern LCD which uses a completely different technology.
  • This only happens when the speaker has a big enough magnet and is close enough to effect the CRT.
  • You can tell immediately if this distortion is taking place, and remove the speaker from the proximity of the display.
  • If you notice any lasting effects of this magnetic interference, you can run your CRT through its "de-gaussing" routine, and it should come back to normal (newer CRTs run a degauss every time they are turned on.)